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Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies - European University Institute

The EU budget requires radical reform to tackle policy challenges

In a rapidly changing world, the European Union grapples with an outdated budget that falls short of addressing pressing challenges. Marco Buti explores the urgent need for radical reform in two blogs published this month.

19 December 2023 | Opinion

EU budget

Professor Marco Buti argues that the European Union's budget, stagnant for two decades, is ill-equipped to meet current challenges like the green and digital transitions, conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, and migration. In the blogs, he emphasizes the necessity for radical reform, both in revenue and expenditure. 

Buti, who holds the Tommasso Padoa Schioppa Chair, advocates for embracing a European public goods approach, focusing on areas where the EU can provide real added value. He suggests categorising spending into programs like the Recovery and Resilience Facility and genuine European public goods, arguing that "a reformed EU budget should embrace a European public goods (EPGs) approach, meaning that it should focus on matters where the EU can bring real added value." Additionally, Buti underscores the importance of credible revenues, proposing various future resources. He outlines the 'triple-T' conditions—trust, threat, and time—essential for the ambitious reform to become a reality, emphasising the need for enforceable fiscal rules and a shared perception of threats to prompt increased resource allocation to the EU level.

Read Marco Buti's blogs titled 'When will the European Union finally get the budget it needs?' published by Bruegel, and 'Towards a Reform of the EU Budget', published by Intereconomics.  

Last update: 19 December 2023

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